Doesn’t it seem like just five minutes ago that the analysts had considered the running back position all but dead in the NFL? Well, based on Week 1, not so fast. Big-play running backs who can control the games do not appear to be as extinct as previously thought.
Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 127 yards on 22 carries. Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries.
The Bears’ less-hyped Tarik Cohen got in on the action as well, with a combined 113 yards rushing and receiving, 66 coming on the ground.
18. Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Cowboys (NR): From his midriff-baring outfit at the draft to his ill-advised marijuana window-shopping in Seattle to his bulldozing of famed (and feared) NFL hitman Kam Chancellor, Elliott’s first few months in the league definitely have been eventful. There no doubt will be more where that came from, thankfully.
Why not sit them down, talk to them on camera. What do they remember about Wilson? That day? That night? The next day? The pregame locker room buzz? What was the fallout? How was the game plan, near zero-hour, altered? What was the measure of betrayal? Anger? Astonishment?
23. Mark Davis, owner, Raiders (NR): The son of Al Davis has a bowl haircut straight out of “The Three Stooges” — and that’s just the start of his odd quirks. Davis also is trying to move the Raiders to Las Vegas while landing the biggest taxpayer stadium handout ever ($750 million). Win or lose, Davis will step out of the shadows this year.
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. Even though offensive guru Jon Gruden is in town, the Raiders should be targeting best defender available with this pick. The Raiders can save $14.5 million by cutting Sean Smith and David Amerson in the offseason, and if they can get T.J. Carrie re-signed after his standout year, having him, 2017 first-rounder Gareon Conley and the speedy Ward at the cornerback position instantly makes the Raiders younger, cheaper and flat-out better at an area of need.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Consider this more of a value play than filling an immediate need. Ferrell is coming off a great performance against Alabama that caps a season that included 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. With Cam Wake on the tail end of his career, Ferrell gives the Dolphins someone to pair with Charles Harris and provide pass rushing off the edge for the foreseeable future.
Given that the Winnipeg Jets don’t much come ’round here, MSG-Plus’ Jets-Islanders pregame Saturday focused on what the Jets try to do and whom they try to do it with. Smart with simple often makes good TV.
Reader Ken Meltsner suggests the Mets returning Omar Minaya at Christmas is a case of flagrant “re-gifting.”